Flooding closes Yellowstone, washes out Red Lodge

Flooding has closed Yellowstone National Park and has forced evacuations in Red Lodge. Swollen Rock Creek is flooding homes in Red Lodge and the town is now under boil order after city water had to be turned off temporarily.

Reporting from earlier Monday morning from the Billings Gazette.

Video on twitter suggests Main Street in Red Lodge is now part of the main channel for Rock Creek. The bridge to Bearcreek is either blocked, gone or both.

Corner crossers win, but the access war forever rages

May was a busy month, and I'm more than a little behind here. This column about the victory for corner crossing hunters in Wyoming, was published early in the month. In it, I suggest what I've long believed, that our battle for access to public lands in the West will be a long one.

Sadly, there are a lot of folks with a lot of money who have convinced themselves that wealth entitles them to what belongs to everyone. If you think they're going to lay down and let the riff-raff freely access public lands we own, just because a jury of riff-raff tossed the trespassing case against a group of hunters who never set foot on private property, you are well on your way to losing the access you cherish.

The wealthy considered themselves entitled to the exclusive use. They won't be satisfied until they've taken it all.

Not carp

I got into a big fish at my favorite local lake. It pretty quickly took me into my backing.

The fish took about 10 minutes to land on my 5-weight. It was a healthy channel catfish, 7 or 8 pounds. I was disappointed. I thought it was a carp.

I've also caught bass at the lake. Again, not carp.

And bluegill. This guy grabbed my fly just as I dragged in front of a half dozen carp that were lounging on the bottom.

And another catfish that briefly fooled me into thinking I'd finally hooked a carp on a fly. This fish was lighter than most of the catfish, which are darker, almost black. It jumped once after I hooked it. I was sure it was a carp. I've had a few near misses, but have yet to hook one. Carp on a fly are tricky.


Cleaning up their mess

It seems the new FWP commission made a hash of things changing hunting and fishing regs on the fly this winter, according to a story by Missoula Currant reporter Laura Lundquist. Already, the commission has had to reverse Kokanee salmon limits on Georgetown Lake approve just in March.

FWP is also dealing with a snafu caused by a new computer system that eliminated many hunter's applications for second- and third-choice permits when they applied for first choice only permits. FWP director Hank Worsech is increasing permits in some districts in an effort to make things right.

Hunting Photo Manifesto

I've been mulling the value of hunting photos posted on social media for a long time, nearly as long as I've been on social media. Platforms such as Facebook and Instagram seem to amplify the impact of these images. I've seen the effects, felt my own stomach turn when distasteful dead game, dumb hunter photos turns up online.

Here's my column on the subject. I think we can do better. We must do better. Hunters are an ever decreasing minority. If hunting is to survive, we can't afford to turn the non-hunting majority against us.

Inappropriate images are a great way to fast track that animosity toward hunting.